Marvel's Avengers 2: a fantasy cast list
Will there be an Avengers sequel, and if so, could Eliza Dushku take on the role of Wasp? Would Jake Gyllenhaal relish the part of The Hood? Rob rolls out his fantasy list of heroes and villains.
After seeing Iron Man 2, the teaser for the next Marvel picture and the subsequent growth of the continued Marvel shared-universe, it seems the ploy is to eventually have Thor (Chris Hemsworth), Captain America (Chris Evans) and Iron Man (Robert Downey Jr) be the three heavy hitters in the ‘Ultimate' Marvel team up movie, The Avengers.
With the Hulk, War Machine, Black Widow, and even Ant-Man, making up the secondary characters that are being touted for the forthcoming feature, and a notion that it will follow Mark Millar's Ultimates plot (Avengers Vs Hulk and/or Loki), then it seems the first film will be a must-see for all comic fans and will undoubtedly be a huge box office draw.
As with any other blockbuster, the suits will, of course, be looking for spin-off opportunities, TV shows or subsequent films, and for ideas that could make the jump without the main actors' paychecks getting too out of control, while still keeping the franchise open at the same time.
So, with a potential second, third or even fourth movie rolled out, how would the Avengers roster and subsequent bad guys for them to fight stack up? Well, here are my suggestions of characters and the actors who could play them, if Marvel decided to carry on assembling Avengers.
The Good Guys
With rumours circulating that it is Joss Whedon who will be directing the Avengers movie, it's a pretty sure bet that one of the director's favourite cast members will be on the roster in some way.
My first idea would be that Joss main man Nathan Fillion would fill the bow and arrow for the purple-clad fan favourite, Hawkeye, but with a lot of Whedon-centric potentials later in the list, my choice for this role would be Glee's Matthew Morrison. (Ahem, not that I watch Glee or anything. Erm, it's my wife who loves it. Nope, you don't believe me, do you?)
Now, if you know what happens to the Ultimate version of Hawkeye and the movement away from fun, happy-go-lucky archer to a death-wish focused badass, then I can see Morrison taking that journey, hopefully without any song and dance routines.
Namor the Sub-Mariner
The aquatic Avenger Namor has been an ally and sometime antagonist to the Avengers, and also has the honour of being one of Marvel's oldest characters.
The Sub-Mariner has links with Captain America and the legacy of the Marvel Universe, as well as being a character with vast potential for his own underwater spin-off movie.
For me, there is only one actor who could play the boisterous and cocky king of the sea, and that is, of course, Duane Johnson (aka the Rock) who has the build, charisma and charm to play the underrated character.
If Mr Whedon can't get his own choice in for Hawkeye, who else in the ‘Whedon-verse' is left for him to use? Well, my choice for the winsome Wasp would be everyone's second favourite, vampire slayer, Faith (aka Eliza Dushku).
While ditzy and slightly too fashion-oriented in the comics, you can imagine, with a slight tweak to the character, Ms Dushku taking on the part of a hardened soldier equipped with stunner stings, hyper-fast wings and a unique fighting style.
She handed Buffy her ass in the show, so you can imagine what she could do to a CG version of the Hulk.
And again, if you have read the Ultimates, you will know there is a scene in it that any red-blooded male viewer would just love to see.
With both the Ultimate version of Hawkeye and Wasp making the cut, how about some more traditional Avengers?
The Vision has been a mainstay for the team for decades, a synthetic human with crimson skin who has the ability to change his density and interface with computers and technical equipment. What is needed here is somebody who can tackle both the growth of the character's humanity, while also trying to keep the cool calm collection of a robot and who is not too bothered spending time in the makeup chair.
Personally, I would go for ex-Robocop Peter Weller for the ghostly Vision, but the actual on-screen character of this fan favourite could be rendered in CG, a la Watchmen's Mr Manhattan.
Sexy, exotic, and with the ability to alter reality, the Scarlet Witch has been an Avenger for many years. Her probability-affecting powers have been more problematic in recent years, however, with numerous reality shifting storylines based around her.
Part sultry gypsy, part superhero, my suggestion would be V's head alien, Morena Baccarin.
For me there is only one guy who could play the washed up yet still cool Simon Williams, and that man, of course, would be The Hoff. Nuff said.
The Bad Guys
With all those heroes kicking around, there, of course, has to be some bad guys for them to fight. In the case of the Avengers, there's a huge mass of evil villains to be lined up against them, from the Masters of Evil to the Tribune to the Wrecking Crew.
But there are those few villains that are synonymous with the Avengers and ready to make the jump to the big screen. So, here we go. Let's bring on the bad guys...
The ultimate evil robot created by Ant-Man/Giant Man Hank Pym. A massive Oedipus complex and a sole drive to mechanise the world make Ultron a great villain, attempting to transform things into his own computerized zero-and-one based universe as he tried to do with the recent Annihilation based comic cross-over.
Although this mechanical menace and his hordes of robots could be produced with CG, he still needs a voice, and the cold, calculating tones of Frank Welker would be perfect for this mechanical killer.
His experience as the voice of Megatron in Transformers makes his monotone voice perfect for the role of Ultron.
A time-travelling dictator from the future, Kang has tried numerous times to conquer the Earth, often repelled by the Avengers.
Equipped with warriors, machines and equipment from anywhere and anytime in the universe, Kang has proved a worthy (and classic) Avengers foe.
For me, somebody like Russell Crowe could carry off both the gravitas and down and dirty warrior spirit of this futuristic despot.
A relatively new creation, and a Brian Michael Bendis favourite, the Hood (aka Parker Robins) is a street level thug who inadvertently gains supernatural powers when he steals a mystical cowl that is a portal for demons and evil things to come through to our dimension.
For a supernatural-themed second movie, the Hood would be perfect as a main focal point, and could possibly be brought to the screen by somebody like Jake Gyllenhaal, playing against type as a bad guy who is slowly possessed by evil extra-dimensional monsters and granted the power to unleash hell on earth.
We now know that Thor will be a lynchpin in the proposed Avengers movie, yet there are more godly pantheons out there to explore with gods-a-plenty in the Marvel universe to play with. And while it would be great to have Hercules show up in the Avengers film, Brian Blessed is (unfortunately) getting a bit long in the tooth to play the boisterous greek demi-god.
So, in my opinion, both the actor and character are out. However, keeping with the Greek theme, I would add the more militaristic god of war, Ares, into the second Avengers outing as a major antagonist.
In the comics he has been a fan favourite of late, serving in both the Mighty Avengers and Norman Osborne's Dark Avengers as an unstoppable mythical engine of destruction.
For me, the acting for this character isn't necessary. In the comics, he smashes stuff and just looks angry, so, in many ways, capturing the character's look is more important than acting ability.
For me, WWE's Dave Batista is the spitting image of the god of war and would serve well to foil Thor.
Hated by the majority of fans, Robert Reynolds is the Sentry, a superhero with the ‘power of a million suns'. You would think this would be fantastic, but the Sentry is also insane and bi-polar, meaning he is also his own nemesis in the form of the ‘Void', an evil entity that has recently been unleashed on Earth in the current Avengers ‘Siege' crossover.
Kind of a deux-ex machina, the Sentry is, for the majority of fans, a Marmite character (either you love him or hate him). He is seen as both a great powerhouse, but also a writer's ‘get out of jail card'.
However, with the right presence on-screen, the nutty hero/villain could be a great villain for the Avengers to tackle, a fallen ex-comrade turned to the dark side.
For this one, I would suggest Brad Pitt, who has proven he can play the golden boy, but also a psychotic nutbag. Check out his role in 12 Monkeys, which shows, when it comes to playing crazy, Mr Pitt is plain certifiable.
Add your picks to the comments below...